Out in the garden today again as we cancelled our plans to go walking around Twyford due to uncertain weather. I am keen to do a circular walk north west out of Twyford and loop back east as I have seen what I think are a couple of holloways leading off the main road while busing into Winchester, but more about that after I do the walk.
At first I thought it was a woodpecker, but surely not as it was nowhere near loud enough and obviously very close - it was in fact a Great Tit sitting on the perch of one our nest boxes (we have five up plus a new house sparrow terrace this year). It was tapping away furiously trying to entice its mate into the box.
The other boxes with smaller holes were also being checked out by blue tits though I have not seen any taking in nesting materials yet. In fact i have not noticed any birds building yet. Must take an hour out sometime and watch a little closer as I am sure the Robins and Blackbirds must be building somewhere by now.
In the veg garden I managed to dig in some compost and rotted down horse manure and plant out spinach and winter gem lettuce which have been in pots in the green house as I used the greenhouse as you would a cold frame this winter - why have I never done this before? as the results were great lettuce, lambs lettuce, parsley, chervil, spring onions etc etc to eat most of the winter, and have given other things a real head start this spring.
First leaves now appearing on the currant bushes outside as well as first shoots appearing on the lovage plants - lots of things to be getting on the with in the coming weeks - I have decided to try and grow our three gooseberry bushes up and train them along a wooden frame (something I saw in a garden we visited last summer on one of the NGS open days) as this will save space - hope I can make it work as well as the ones I saw.
An aching back this afternoon as I spent an hour or so weeding grass etc out of the small chamomile lawn on top of the bank, still not got it all out and think it maybe an on going battle for the rest of the year!
Little sign of any of shoots appearing yet in any of the seeds I planted both out in the greenhouse or on the window sills - just one broad bean shoot so far. I put these in a few weeks back to replace the ones killed by the frost (the packet said frost resistant and the ones last winter survived worse conditions!!!), but hey ho that's the way it goes from year to year.